The second half of the Further Adventures of Lucie Miller sees a bit more stability with an average first part and a fun finale seeing the return of a familiar enemy (much like a lot of “finales” from the Eighth / Lucie era!) and may well have set a new record for longest blog title! Let’s take a look!
Official Synopsis (of “Island of the Fendahl”):
The Fendahl is the death of evolution, the horror that lies in wait at the far end of the food chain.
The Fendahl is death itself.
And the Fendahl is dead. The Doctor destroyed it many years ago, in another incarnation, when he encountered it in a place called Fetchborough.
But if the Fendahl is dead… how can it live again, on the remote island of Fandor?
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Episode 4, “The Island of the Fendahl” was a great story to end with. It played with the story introduced in the Fourth Doctor TV serial, but crossed it with “The Wicker Man”, with great success.
The big reveal is that the evil force in The Dalek Trap that controlled The Doctor’s actions (and put him on the shelf for most of it) was the Fendahl skull, surviving in a black hole where The Doctor had previously sent it into a sun. The two planets (and more in between) that they visit in Episodes 2 and 3 cause the TARDIS to draw a pentagram in space, giving it more power. Without knowing it, it’s The Doctor who brings the skull to the titular Island and nearly causes the Fendahl to return and the world, if not the universe, is only saved when Lucie throws the Skull out of the TARDIS just a short distance away from where The Fourth Doctor is throwing the Skull, and when the two Skulls hit each other, the paradox causes a the sun to go supernova, turn into a black hole, and there we have an endless loop to keep the evil artefact in place. It’s a good bit of fun.
I have to say that there is something odd about modern Eighth Doctor’s face put on old Eighth Doctor’s hair and body…
Episode 3, “The House on the Edge of Chaos”, is a good, but closer to average affair. Then again, if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll probably know that I really dislike the old snobby 19th/early 20th century house party type setting, and while the setting is actually a large house on a planet with deadly static-like atmosphere, there are still plenty of scenes and characters that made me roll my eyes. It had some unique ideas going for it, and some good old-fashioned ghost-like scenes, but it wasn’t my personal cup of tea…
The Fendahl and all the related things first appeared in Fourth Doctor TV story “Image of the Fendahl”, and hasn’t actually made another appearance in the TV or Audios, apart from a Torchwood audio story, but I don’t know how this would fit in with this story yet…
Much like Episode 2, these episodes feature Lucie Miller and the Eighth Doctor and prove that the two still have great interactions and chemistry, and the lighter tone of the their early stories is kept, with some more serious moments thrown around, obviously. A fun finale, and a good boxset over all.
Island of the Fendahl:
The House at the Edge of Chaos: